Jean Leon | Wine

Vinya La Scala: Where Wine Meets Art

Today we’d like to introduce you to one of our most special wines: Vinya La Scala. A Gran Reserva wine from the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in Spain.

 

We only produce Vinya La Scala in years when climate conditions are particularly auspicious, making each vintage an exceptional and unique original.  The wine is barrel-aged in new French oak for 24 months, followed by a minimum of three years bottle-aging.

 

The Vinya La Scala bottle has always had a connection to the art world. But…what motivated us to forge this link between wine and art? We believe that a bottle containing a great wine should be equally great on the outside. In this case: artworks by renowned Catalan painters. We’ll take you on a tour, piece by piece.

 

1- Gran Reserva 1979: Josep Maria Subirachs

This limited-edition wine pays tribute to the Catalan painter and sculptor Josep Maria Subirachs for his tireless contribution to the art world throughout his life.

He was a painter, sculptor, set designer, professor and art critic. His work falls into different periods, from abstraction to expressionism. This piece is called Homenaje a Canova (Homage to Canova).

It is a lithograph in which we see the silhouette, projected toward infinity, of Paolina Borghese, the sister of Napoleon Bonaparte and muse of the neo-classical sculptor Antonio Canova.

The 1985 vintage pays tribute to the La Scala restaurant, which Jean Leon opened in Beverly Hills in 1956. The artist responsible for the label is the Barcelonan painter Jordi Alumà

 

2- Gran Reserva 1994: Alberto Ràfols Casamada

This Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva 1994 is a tribute to the Catalan painter and poet Albert Ràfols Casamada for his consistent contribution to the arts and culture throughout his career.

The oil painting shown on the label is called Vaso de vino (Glass of Wine), and the artist specifically made it for Jean Leon.

 

3- Gran Reserva 1996: Josep Guinovart

At Jean Leon we only make a Gran Reserva when the harvest is truly exceptional. Although 1995 was a good year, we decided not to make the wine. And so we go from the unforgettable 1994 to the 1996 vintage, a wine of extraordinary structure with great cellaring potential.  

The painter chosen for this particular vintage was Josep Guinovart, one of the most renowned names in contemporary art. In the painting De la tierra a la luz (From Earth to Light), he used the characteristic textures and warm hues typically found in his work.

The 1996 vintage is very special, because the founder of the Jean Leon winery passed away that year

 

4- Gran Reserva 1997: Antoni Tàpies

This label features the work of Antoni Tàpies, a self-taught artist. His early portraits reveal a strongly expressionistic style. The artist created this piece specifically for Jean Leon. Entitled Bodegón (Still Life), it is a true representation of the artist’s original style.

 

5- Gran Reserva 1998: Josep Puigmartí

On June 28th, 1999 a section of the winery collapsed due to the weight of the hill on which it was built. Hundreds of barrels were destroyed in the process, and as a result, only 3000 bottles of the Gran Reserva 1998 were released.

Puigmartí is an artist wholly committed to an intense creative process in a never-ending search for beauty through experimentation with all kinds of materials. In this piece, entitled León (Lion), the artist worked with oil on canvas.

 

6- Gran Reserva 1999: Josep Maria Riera i Aragó

The piece, entitled Avión negro sobre rojo (Black Plane on Red), reflects the artist’s interest in mechanical plans, flying machines and aquatic artifacts.

The artist often likes to underscore the archaeological aspect of his work with a catastrophic note charged with memory, because what interests him is the mark, the trace, the vestige.

 

7- Gran Reserva 2000: Joan Hernández Pijuan

His painting reflects the intimate and personal nature of his work. He experimented with almost all contemporary art currents, and he always worked in an abstract language, but without forsaking real objects and landscapes.

His work has received several international awards. He exhibited around the world, and in 2003 his last retrospective, Volviendo a un sitio conocido, 1972-2002 (Returning to a Familiar Place), showed at MACBA.

 

8- Gran Reserva 2001: Waltraud Maczassek

A wine this special deserves an equally exceptional presentation. For the 2001 vintage, we chose a painting by Waltraud Maczassek.  Born in Frankfurt, she now lives and works in Barcelona.

She studied fine arts at the Educational Institute in Wiesbaden, Germany, as well as color, composition and landscape at the Escuela Libre del Mediterráneo.

Her piece, entitled Transformación (Transformation), is inspired by nature, evoking nebulas, whirlpools, indistinguishable magma of unexpected richness.  

It shows the parallels between the universe and life, both evolving incessantly. She expresses all of this in geometric planes, which spring from an interior vision and, in this particular piece, symbolize the process of transformation.

 

9- Gran Reserva 2003: Josep Maria Subirachs

Subirachs once again adds his signature to the label of one of our most special wines. Here the artist pays homage to Marilyn Monroe and one of her favorite restaurants: La Scala. The painter created the artwork specifically for the 2003 vintage. It is a tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood, which Jean Leon experienced in all its splendor.

 

10- Gran Reserva 2007: Josep Martí Bofarull

Martí Bofarull was born in Molins de Rei (Barcelona) in 1965 and spent his childhood and early adolescence in an artistic household. Upon arriving in the United States, his painting entered a new period. In its urban themes, he discovered a personal vision, using spatial distribution in a wholly original way to express America’s striking architecture.